Welcome to the CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition
Our mission is to find the best unpublished short story – one that fits into legendary crime writer Margery’s definition of what makes a great story:
“The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”
The international competition is open to all – both published and unpublished authors from all over the world – and is for short stories of up to 3,500 words. All that we ask is that the story has not been previously published anywhere, or shortlisted for this competition.
How to Write a Winning Story
We asked a former winner of the CWA/Margery Allingham Short Story competition for 6 great tips and here they are:
- Read the great short stories (not just crime fiction) and ask yourself what makes them great
- Don’t kid yourself that writing a short story is much easier than writing a novel
- Think about the effect you want the story to have on the reader
- The opening needs to arrest attention
- The end must leave the reader with a sense of satisfaction
- In between the beginning and the end – don’t waste a word
If you experience any problems with the submission or payment process, please email us here
After 28 Feb, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have difficulties submitting or paying, please email us on either address before the 28 Feb 18.00 GMT deadline.
You might want to refer to the 2019 trouble-shooting guide under Crime Writing Tips.
The Margery Allingham Short Story Competition 2019 opens on 1 October 2018.
Closing date is 28 February 2019 at 6pm.
Any queries: please email
The winner receives a generous cash prize of £500 plus two weekend passes to CrimeFest 2020 and a selection of Margery Allingham-related books.
The winner is announced at CrimeFest 2019 in Bristol and shortlisted writers can buy tickets just to the ceremony if they prefer, when the CWA Dagger longlists are also announced. Email email@example.com.